In an interview on state television, Vladimir Putin said that war between Russia and Ukraine is unlikely to happen.
When asked about the expected war, he said: “I think that such an apocalyptic scenario is unlikely and I hope this will never happen.”
He said he hoped the Minsk Peace agreement would be respected by Ukraine, Germany and France.
Meanwhile Ukraine has halted its planned pull back according to the last ceasefire deal, accusing the rebels of attacks on its troops.
Orange.co.uk report: Mr Putin’s words came after Ukraine had halted the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the
frontline, blaming continuing attacks from pro-Russian rebels.
Kiev had said it was preparing to pull back in line with the ceasefire agreed on 12 February.
The truce requires both sides to withdraw heavy artillery to between 16 and 44 miles.
However, Ukraine claims there have been attacks against its forces and is now refusing to budge. Lieutenant Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh said the retreat would not proceed until rebel attacks stop entirely – something that was supposed to occur from 15 February.
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